Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Summer is gone, fall is here and I guess that means we've used up two-thirds of 2013. Spring and summer is my favorite time of the year but … I do like fall, also. Just think, grass cutting is just about behind us now the leaves get a turn. I guess you got to rake 'em, blow 'em or mow 'em, oh, don't put the mower away quite yet, some of you might have to do a little snow plowing. I think that just about covers it.

Now, many of you may have heard or seen that Dr. Ralph, Ralph Stanley, is retiring from the road this year. Ralph, my friend you will be missed out here BUT I can really understand your decision. I can recall the first time I met you and Cater. It was in Appomattox, VA. You and Carter were playing between movies at a show down there. A lot of bands did that back then. Some time after that I saw you two at a Drive In Theater at my home in Lynchburg. You played on top of the projection booth. That was one time I had the opportunity as MC to introduce you. As time passed and more opportunities were presented. I have had the honor of putting you on. Ralph, I have to say here, you and all of the Clinch Mountain Boys have been extremely good to me every where and time we have met. That's heartfelt and so is this, there is only ONE Dr. Ralph Stanley. You never compromised your music and you plowed a tough row. It paid off. That's what Appalachian Mountain folks and Appalachian music is.

Then there's Jesse McReynolds. Jesse has been in the hospital for an irregular heartbeat. His doctors want him to kind of stay under the radar until they can decide if he needs a pacemaker. Jesse had his 84th birthday in July. Guess we could all use a little starter for our pace at that age. While taking it easy I understand he keeps his mandolin going and working on a few tunes. Keep up the good work, Jesse.

A couple of side glances. At the Vine Grove Festival, they will have "old friends," one of which "retired" from the road a year or so ago. You know some things sometimes just won't let you quit? So it brings three old friends together and why not. There's Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams and J. D. Crowe, WOW! Old Friends Get Together. That is a closing act for a great festival. As some of you have heard me say, replacing an act that had to drop out is LEROY TROY and The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. They will be there Friday night the 27th. Folks, this is going to be a show. Another old friend of mine I haven't seen in quite a while is Little Roy Lewis, "Little Roy & Lizzie Show." If you remember Little Roy, you know you can expect just about anything!

Shepherdsville is set to open October 11. From the looks of the new flier, it's going to be a big year over there.

And now jams: Wednesdays - Relic & Friends @ Monkey Wrench, 1025 Barrett Ave. 9 pm.. Thurs.day nights - Hickory Vaught & Friends @ Blu Café Marriott Hotel, 280 W. Jefferson. Open Jam @ Hillview City Hall, 6 pm. Vine Grove Jam is still going strong and now do the jamming in the park, The Optimist Park) every other Friday in the month starting with the first Friday of the month. In case of rain/showers they will be in City hall.

Hey, time to go get a doughnut. Don't forget "Sunday Bluegrass" every Sunday night at WFPK 91.9 FM on your dial and we are streaming audio. Tell a far away friend. It's Sunday night 8 11. Thanks all y'all!